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ANNIE LAURIE (1927)


Guest dredagain

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Very nice film begging for a restoration, with a beautiful Lillian Gish caught in a war between two clans, the Campbells and the MacDonalds.

 

Great sets and a solid supporting cast and a rousing finale make this one a winner. The final scene is in a faded 2-strip Technicolor but the reds and greens can still be made out.

 

My memory tells me this film was a flop for MGM and one more nail in Gish's coffin (as far as Mayer was concerned), but this is a lush romantic film with great sets and costumes and several really exciting sequences. Gish is simply gorgeous here, beautifully photographed with lots of back lighting to emphasize her blonde hair. Norman Kerry (never a favorite) turns in a great performance as the man from the wrong clan who loves Gish.

 

The action-packed finale is filled with violent clashes between the clans, a beautifully filmed chase scene with Gish just steps ahead of her pursuer, and her final attempt to climb a snowy mountain to light the beacon, a flaming torch that signals trouble and calls for help.

 

Supporting cast includes Hobart Bosworth, Creighton Hale, Joseph Striker, Patricia Avery (as the tragic Enid), and David Torrence.

 

This is a major film with major stars, waiting for a restoration.

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I think he said he'd seen it.... this is yet another lousy mute camcorded copy, however, with a "counter."

 

I imagine the print that was being shown was VERY good and runs around 95 minutes.....

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Ed,

 

What a pain! I wonder if these people snuck into several live screenings with Camcorders, or what is the deal? Never mounted once? At least, if they were stationary on a tripod, and well framed, that would help. And this was probably back in the 90's? So it was initially VHS probably? I doubt the recordings were Super-VHS.

 

I know that the Counter should not be there either. That's just carelessness. Should never have been superimposed on the tape. THE FAIR CO-ED appeared to be a good print too, but how can you tell for sure?

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I guess, Jeff. They tale a camcorder in with them and watch the whole movie while taping. The counter is annoying and shouldn't even be there. My guess is it's handheld judging from the amount of jiggle and positioning. But it makes me wonder where these films were shown since the only copies seem to be these handheld bootlegs. What a shame this is the only version we have of so many films.

 

If anyone were doing a Gish DVD set, ANNIE LAURIE would be a terrific rare film to add. I can only surmise that the screened copy of this film was in pretty good shape, although the color finale may have been faded.

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There's a blurb on IMDb that says ANNIE LAURIE was discovered and restored by LOC in 2002.... so that's probably where it was screened.....

 

By the time the screen film is camcorded and then copied onto VHS/DVD its quality has already been degraded a few times.

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I'm no expert but one of the movies I got , I ould see a T.V. screen. I got that counter also. Maybe they were research copies. I forgot the screen name but somebody had metioned seeing movies at a University. I never did it myself but I think they give you a copy of the movie and you take it in a room and watch it there.

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Ed, Everyone,

 

Last night I just looked at a little bit of ANNIE LAURIE and I could scarcely believe what I was seeing! The print is beautiful, almost totally pristine, and very sharp and clear!

 

Sadly, it is recorded with a older Camcorder on tape, and the guy was pointing it at a big rounded older style monitor screen, not at a movie screen! On the plus side He seemed to have used a Super-VHS unit I believe? It has that vast blasted counter on the bottom running that should not be there, which is a real pain. Yet based on what else I am seeing, this might just be one of the best prints of any surviving Silent film in existence anywhere! I don't think to many of the long unseen MGM Silents are in this good of condition. I doubt it.

 

10 minutes into the movie, and I am completely enraptured with the story and gorgeous photography. I agree that Lillian Gish never looked more lovely than when we first see her in this film. Wow! I can imagine a magnificent score in my head, humming it as I'm viewing the picture. I couldn't watch this last night, but boy ANNIE LAURIE has leaped to the very top of my "This must be scored by Warner's list!" I would give anything to see this on TCM! It doesn't need any additional restoration, all it requires is the music.

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Jeff, all it needs is a dusting off and a new score.... the finale Technicolor scenes are faded but it hardly matters... I really liked this one.

 

An amazing scene where Gish is running from the thug. Apparently they had the camera on a dolly in from of them as they ran so we have a semi closeup of the horrified Gish running and the thug right behind her. Excellent scene.

 

Gish apparently didn't think much of this film since she was not deepley involved in its preparation as she had been with Griffith's films. She says (in her autobiography) it didn't do well because "the heroine lacked emotional depth." Not sure I agree. I think Gish and Norman Kerry were quite good.

 

The seen where Gish scrambles up the side of the icy mountain in an attempt to light the warning beacon is very exciting and certainly shows the heroine as something other than a bland heroine.

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Ed,

 

Here are a bunch more stills from ANNIE LAURIE that Bruce had! I finished watching this, and I think it is a better movie than THE WIND, which I have long considered somewhat overrated. What an awesome picture! As noted in another thread Richard May confirmed a full restoration by the LOC in 2002, and Warner's and TCM were directly involved in the effort!

 

 

annie_laurie181-Mauve-Tint.jpg

 

annie_laurie177-Mauve-Tint.png

 

annie_laurie050-toasttomylady.jpg

 

annie_laurie046-Gold-Tintjpg.jpg

 

annie_laurie166-Green0tint.jpg

 

annie_laurie072-GoldenTint.png

 

annie_laurie212-Amber-tint.jpg

 

annie_laurie229-BlueTint.jpg

 

 

In addition, I have news the original synchronized track to LILAC TIME has been restored! I have been wondering about that for years. We do know that it was screened in 35 millimeter with it's vintage track at a live Rome New York event back in 2003. Which is very interesting. Although it doesn't tell us what was shown in Chicago November 23rd? I assume it must have been a 35 millimeter print? I've included a article on that also. Here are the links. You will find the note near the bottom of the page on the first one. The other tells us allot about the Theater, but not much concerning the screening itself.

 

 

http://www.picking.com/vitaphone64.html

 

http://www.pioneerlocal.com/edisonpark/news/1332338,ed-pickwick80-121808-s1.article

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Jeff... I liked ANNIE LAURIE a lot but I think THE WIND is a better film.... just my opinion....

 

watched the 1915 CARMEN today... a gorgeous print. Wallace Reid was incredibly handsome and Geraldine Farrar was surprisingly good..... the music was also terrific.

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Ed,

 

I have the Image DVD of CARMEN, but have never watched it. I have had it for years. I will need to take a look.

 

Part of it is that the Thames transfer of THE WIND isn't all that sharp, kind of washed out. It would need re-mastering like they did with FLESH AND THE DEVIL for a DVD release. The last time I watched the WIND, was right after I saw CAPTAIN SALVATION, and to me CAPTAIN SALVATION was the superior film. Certainly a much sharper, and more recent transfer. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for THE WIND that evening?

 

I'll try to add a score to ANNIE LAURIE, but probably not until after the Holidays. I need some Irish and Scottish folk music. I have a little, but not very much. Why didn't you tell me that you needed LA BOHEME?

 

Big Ice-Storm here tonight, and I was lucky I didn't get killed on the way home. Now we are supposed to get 5 to 6 inches of Snow, on top of the 4 plus inches we had a couple days ago! And I don't have all my shopping done yet!

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Ed,

 

I have PEG 'O MY HEART too, but it is still scoreless, and I have never even burned myself a copy yet. The file is on the slave-drive though. It is a very nice print. Still another King Vidor Silent that needs to be scored.

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Ed, Annie,

 

OK, I will try to burn a copy today and see what happens? The format does not always burn smoothly. I have promised holiday packages to way to many people, and there is just no way that I am going to be able to deliver all of them! I'm not Santa Clause! Have a few of them sent out, but not very many. I'm working on it.

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